Arjuna insists Presidential elections not his focus

Asked if he had plans to contest the next Presidential elections, Ranatunga said that his name was mentioned even in 2015 as a possible candidate even though he had no plans to contest. Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga today insisted that his focus is not the Presidential elections.Speaking to reporters, Ranatunga said that now is not the time to discuss party politics but to unite and rebuild the country. He said that all political parties must unite to rebuild the country which was badly affected by the recent attacks and then look at elections.Ranatunga also said that political parties have ruined the country and as a result he never identifies himself with any political party. (Colombo Gazette) However he says now is not the time to focus on the elections as the country is in a mess. read more

Candidate campaign reports trickle in

Port Dover Coun. Amy Martin had strong support – popular and otherwise – en route to her convincing win in Ward 6 in last fall’s municipal election.A well-organized team coupled with solid financial support helped Martin secure a majority of the vote in a competitive field of seven candidates.Ward 6 had the highest rate of voter participation of the seven wards in Norfolk County Oct. 22. A total of 4,411 voted out of 7,165 eligible electors.Martin collected 2,242 votes for a total of 51 percent of ballots cast.Councillor candidates in Ward 6 had a general spending limit of $6,479.Martin was within the limit with campaign expenses in the amount of $6,124 according to a financial statement filed Feb. 11 with Norfolk’s clerk’s department.By law, municipal candidates must report donations of $100 or more. Martin declared nine campaign donations in excess of this amount. Supporters included:Robert Kennaley of Simcoe: $1,000.  Jo-Anne Martin of Port Dover: $500. Megan Flexman of Simcoe: $500. Tim Rodger of Port Dover: $500.  Kelly Fulson of Simcoe: $500. Grant Turner of Georgetown: $300. David and Judith Horton of Simcoe: $250. Bruce Armstrong of Port Dover: $150.  Nic Childs of Port Dover: $125. Martin claimed another contribution from Jo-Anne Martin in the amount of $325 for food, decorations and a room rental for a campaign launch party. Kelsey Wallace of Port Dover provided bookkeeping and financial services valued at $400.In her declaration, Coun. Martin also noted $178 for campaign literature and handouts during Port Dover’s Canada Day parade July 1.Martin’s total campaign expenses came to $6,124 while declared income came to $5,719 for a total deficit of $405.Other members of the new Norfolk council filing financial statements in recent days include Charlotteville Coun. Chris Van Paassen and Simcoe Coun. Ian Rabbitts.Councillor candidates in Simcoe-area Ward 5 were subject to a general spending limit of $6,479.In his financial statement, which was filed Feb. 14, Rabbitts declared $7,590 in income against expenses of $6,177. Thank-you cards and election-day events – an allowable expense beyond the general spending limit – came to $424.Rabbitts also enjoyed solid financial support. Donors of $100 or more include:Brenda Meiler of Mount Hope: $1,200. Garry Meiler of Mount Hope: $1,200. Lee Rabbitts of Simcoe: $1,200. Kathleen Noble of Simcoe: $1,000. Robert Kennaley of Simcoe: $1,000. Cheryl Rabbitts of Simcoe: $305. Rabbitts declared another $135 in expenses related to a receipt book and the rental of a booth at the Norfolk County Fair in October.Windham-area Ward 4 Coun. Chris Van Paassen replaced former Ward 4 representative Jim Oliver. Oliver retired from municipal politics at the end of the last council term.In his financial statement, which was filed at Governor Simcoe Square Jan. 15, Van Paassen claims income of $1,784 against expenses of the same amount.Van Paassen cites no donations of $100 or more while noting recycled signage obtained in 2010 worth $276.All candidates in last fall’s municipal election have till 2 p.m. March 29 to file a primary financial statement with the clerk’s department at Governor Simcoe Square.In the absence of that, all candidates have till March 28 to file a request in the Ontario Court of Justice for a reporting extension.After March 29, candidates have till 2 p.m. April 29 to file a financial statement along with a $500 late-filing fee. After that, penalties for not filing at all take effect.MSonnenberg@postmedia.com read more

Asia shares Dow futures oil price sink as Trump leads in vote

by The Associated Press Posted Nov 8, 2016 10:55 pm MDT Last Updated Nov 9, 2016 at 8:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Asia shares, Dow futures, oil price sink as Trump leads in vote count HONG KONG – The increasingly likely prospect of a Donald Trump presidency roiled North American futures markets and sent Asian stocks and oil prices tumbling in Wednesday trading, setting up what was likely to be a rough ride for investors in Canada, where energy and commodity prices are key.After scoring gains earlier — when it seemed like Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton would thump her Republican foe — Japan’s Nikkei 225 index dropped a whopping 6.1 per cent, while market benchmarks in Australia, South Korea’s and Hong Kong tumbled similar amounts.Dow and S&P futures also plunged after safe-play stocks, such as utilities and phone companies, were among the biggest gainers on Tuesday as investors focused on the U.S. presidential election.Wall Street had largely seen Clinton as more likely to maintain the status quo, while viewing Trump’s polices as less clear.“Rightly or wrongly, markets are going to be concerned about a Trump victory, particularly given the potential consequences for world trade and its impact on many large companies in the U.S. stock market,” said Ric Spooner, chief analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.“Like Brexit, the rally over the last two days increases the downside potential.”Spooner compared the situation to the sharp global market declines following the Brexit vote in which Britain unexpectedly voted to leave the European Union.Among Trump’s campaign statements that have sparked concerns are his threat to restrict immigration to the U.S., renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement that takes in Canada and Mexico and scuttle the Pacific Rim trade initiative known as TPP.Currencies, especially the Mexican peso, took a hit as Trump edged toward the winner’s circle. The peso, which had been viewed as a proxy for Trump’s chances of winning, plunged more than 11 per cent, while the U.S. dollar fell against the yen.In overnight trading, the Canadian dollar dipped more than a full cent against the greenback.Concerns about a Trump presidency spread to oil prices, which saw benchmark U.S. crude futures down $1.65 to $43.33 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.About the only winner amidst the turbulence was gold — seen as a safe haven in times of uncertainty — which soared 4.7 per cent.— With files from The Canadian Press read more